I have never been moved so deeply by a story that I could not necessarily relate to based my own sexual experience. Sonya Bolus orchestrates an absolutely touching and true story about her love for her partner and the way it changes over time into something breathtaking and difficult and amazing.
Loving Outside Simple Lines is the story of Sonya’s feelings for her partner before, leading up to, and after her lover’s surgery to acquire “male” characteristics such as a penis, body hair, flat chest, etc. Before the surgery, when Sonya would touch her lover’s breasts she would be “prepared for you to pull away every time I reach for you” (Bolus, p. 113). This alludes to the questioning and confusing feelings that Sonya’s lover (they are never referred to by name) has about their body. When they have sex Bolus says that “sometimes I have to trick you” by talking dirty about sucking their dick almost, it seems, to make Sonya’s “butch” as she lovingly refers to them, feel masculine (Bolus, p. 113).
Eventually the two get married and they refer to Sonya as the “wife” and her butch as the “husband.”
Sonya knows the day will come when her husband wants the surgery to fully become what they feel inside that they are. She know she needs to support them. This is, however, easier said than done as Bolus simply loves the way her butch is. She loves their breasts and warmth and the softness of their skin when she caresses their body.
When her butch does eventually get the surgery, Sonya is confused about her own sexuality. Is she a lesbian? Is she a femme? Is she somehow “straight” now? After ample mental torment and introspection, she decised to call herself “transensual.” She then is able to fully embrace her butch, her boy, her man and love them without condition.
There is such deep significance to this story regarding acceptance, absolute love, and the growth of a relationship. Sonya’s husband had to finally accept, after all the years of hearing the question “are you a boy or a girl,” who they truly wanted to be. To feel not at home in your own skin is to “to live a death” (Link, p. 87). Now this may sound extreme, but it does touch on what Sonya’s butch may have been feeling. Sonya Bolus loves her butch with everything she has. She had wished and hoped that there was someone like her lover and felt relief when she found that that person existed.
I believe this a feeling we all share. We all just want to find someone who we can be our true selves with, someone who feels the same love we do.
Almost every relationship goes through struggle and heartbreak and change. Almost every relationship involves compromise on both sides. Forgive me for sounding cliche, but these are the struggles and compromises that strengthen the bond between two people.
As I said, I relate to this story. Although, not in the way one might think. I do not relate to this story in regards to a relationship that I’ve had with another person, but the one I have with myself. I have struggled throughout my life, as I’m sure many people have, with liking myself. I have struggled liking the weird ass shit that goes through my head and I have struggled accepting how weird I am, sexually and otherwise. The summer prior to and now coming to college, I have begun to like myself by simply exploring who my true self is. The way I see it, Sonya’s butch went through something similar granted, in a much more drastic way. They had it much harder and I understand that, but as I said, I’m relating in a way that makes sense to me.
The point of all this rather personal reflection is to leave you with this thought. It’s going to be hard as fuck to finally sit down and accept who you are, what you like, and who you like. I am by no means to that point but this story has sparked the flame in me once again, to keep on fighting like hell for it and I hope it has for you as well.
The fight within my head to love myself has now been brought to media thanks to the man, the myth, the legend, Justin goddamn Bieber. Take a look (if you haven’t already):
Love Yourself (PURPOSE : The Movement) – Justin Bieber …
Nestle, Joan, Clare Howell, and Riki Anne Wilchins. GenderQueer: Voices from beyond the Sexual Binary. Los Angeles: Alyson, 2002. Print.